U.S. private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) funds finished the final quarter of 2014 with positive returns, though in the case of PE just barely, due primarily to poorly performing investments in energy companies, says Cambridge Associates. VC investments did significantly better for the period, beating out not only PE funds, but public equities as well. While neither private asset class matched its annual performance in 2013, both posted double-digit returns for 2014. Its ‘US Private Equity Index’ rose 0.8 per cent and 11.2 per cent for the quarter and year ending December 31, 2014. The ‘U.S. Venture Capital Index’ increased 9.9 per cent and 21.5 per cent, respectively, over the same periods. For comparison, for the quarter and year the S&P 500 returned 4.9 per cent and 13.7 per cent. The annual returns of both benchmarks were helped by the strong performances of companies in several large sectors, especially healthcare in the PE index and software in the VC index.
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